Retrospective 2013: the beginning of the PS4 and Xbox One generation

Retrospective 2013: the beginning of the PS4 and Xbox One generation
2013 opened with the overtaking of PS3 against Xbox 360: a scenario that until recently seemed impossible, and which was determined by the actions of both parties involved.

On the one hand there was Sony, investing enormous resources in creating a rock solid and talented first party base while the price of its console dropped to human levels; on the other hand Microsoft, which with Don Mattrick at the helm of the Xbox division had practically let go, allowing the Japanese opponent to come back.

Many thought that the shortage of exclusive productions by the Redmond company depended on commitment to the design of the new console, but apparently the company was also behind on that front.

The fact that it arrived on the market with a less powerful, larger and more expensive platform than the competition due to some completely wrong decisions, see the initial focus on Kinect which raised the price of Xbox One and allowed the more affordable PlayStation 4 to build a huge lead. Without alternation, this time.

The announcement of PS4 and the release of BioShock Infinite

Sony's ride began in February, with an event in New York City where the Japanese company has officially announced PS4. The technical characteristics of the new platform were discussed and the DualShock 4 controller was presented, with its touchpad and a substantially improved design compared to the previous model, but the console itself was not shown to the public until a few months later, in during E3 2013.

In March 2K Games released the splendid BioShock Infinite, the final chapter of the saga created by Irrational Games which this time led us among the clouds, in the mysterious city of Columbia: a sort of mirror image compared to the Rapture of the first two episodes, but no less insidious and controlled with an iron fist by an evil despot. What interested us, however, was a very special girl, whom we had had the task of freeing and leading to safety. Or not?

The next-gen of PS4 and Xbox One

We had to wait for May for the official presentation of Xbox One, highly criticized in retrospect as it focused on concepts such as television programs and the DVR functionality, which Don Mattrick evidently considered fundamental but which in reality were of very little interest to gamers. So much so that at E3 in June the company had to radically change its approach, going back to talking about games and carrying on a narrative that makes you smile a bit to hear it today. Do not underestimate the power of the cloud.

The Los Angeles fair has therefore seen the realization of the strategies of Sony and Microsoft, with the former not only finally showing the design of the PS4 but also announcing the price , substantially lower than the competition: 399 dollars against 499. As mentioned, this was the first and most important element capable of determining an advantage in sales that would gradually increase, and that the subsequent management of Phil Spencer could not recover.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us also arrived in stores in June 2013: an extraordinary title, able to offer PS3 owners an experience capable of expertly blending narrative and gameplay, involving us in the events of an unusual couple of survivors against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world: what remains of the United States after the spread of a fungus that has transformed most of you of people in ferocious mutants.

Beyond its many qualities, the title of Naughty Dog has shown that support for a platform must not be lacking until the end of its life cycle, for a whole series of reasons. Including the fact that it is then possible to re-release the same product appropriately remastered on the new console, thus maximizing the yield of the resources used.

Ouya: story of a meteor

June 2013 will be remembered finally for the launch of Ouya, the home console based on Android that aimed to provide a fixed context to the best mobile experiences, thinking in this way to give it a dignity that apparently, in the team's mind, depended on the device used and not on the the actual quality and features of the software.

After a successful launch, however, something went very wrong: it turned out that only a very small percentage of users actually bought games, and thus the support from some of the developers quickly faded, amid exclusions canceled and revised requirements. The rest is fairly recent history: after years of neglect and oblivion, in 2019 Ouya's servers were closed.

The summer of Dota 2 and Rayman

Between July and September 2013 some games of extraordinary importance have made their debut, starting with Dota 2. Published by Valve on July 9th, the MOBA immediately attracted the attention of fans of the genre, offering them a very solid product, rich in depth and not surprisingly immediately protagonist of the eSport scene with an important dedicated event.

In August it was instead the turn of Rayman Legends, the last main chapter of the Ubisoft series directed by Michel Ancel, as well as a real realization of the frenetic and spectacular platform dynamics introduced with the previous Rayman Origins, assisted in this case by a fantasy setting that catered to the tastes of the general public.

Grand Theft Auto V

September 2013 marked the arrival of one of the best-selling games ever, Grand Theft Auto V. Also in this case we are talking about a product that landed on PS3 and Xbox 360 at the end of the life cycle of the two platforms, capable of enhancing them once again and at the same time fully exploiting their installed base to be able to place tens of millions of copies.

It is certainly no coincidence that, exactly one year later, the title developed by Rockstar Games has followed the same path as The Last of Us and other successful productions, enjoying a reinterpretation capable of exploiting the hardware of the new platforms. The amazing thing is that just a few months ago GTA V was also announced for PS5 and Xbox Series X | S: it will be the first game to live on three different console generations.

Nintendo 2DS : it was no joke

Before the debut of PS4 and Xbox One, which took place in November, there was room for a frankly unexpected event: in October 2013, the Nintendo 2DS was launched, a variant of the portable console without any of its most peculiar feature, namely the screen with three-dimensional effect. It seemed like a very well done joke, but it was all true.

The strategy of the Japanese company proved to be perfectly sensible: they needed to create a very accessible, low-priced device that would allow many new users to access the Nintendo ecosystem. And so, after a couple of bad choices (Wii U and the 3DS debut price), the big N is back to getting it right.

PS4 and Xbox One launch

Arrived in Italian stores respectively on 29 and 22 November 2013, PS4 and Xbox One have had many merits, accompanying us in a new technological era made up of 4K, HDR televisions and a virtually boundless freedom of expression, which gave birth to new ways of telling stories. To date, the Sony console has sold over 113 million units, the Microsoft one about half: an installed base very similar to that of the previous generation.

In the month of their debut, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were accompanied from a fairly solid line-up, which included on the one hand Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack and Resogun, on the other Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome. In between, several valuable third party productions: from Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag to Battlefield 4, from Call of Duty: Ghosts to Need for Speed: Rivals.

2013 was an important year, for many verses fundamental to what we are experiencing today. A year of generational changes, of great games that have left their mark, of wrong choices but also of particularly happy intuitions, which have produced surprising results.

Seven years later we find ourselves experiencing a situation that is in some ways very similar, for others profoundly different. Nintendo has returned to play the role of outsider of excellence with the incredible success of the Switch, while Sony and Microsoft seem to aim for different strategies. The future is full of promise for those with a passion for videogames.

Powered by Blogger.